Mirror mirror on the wall…
A long time ago, the Queen in the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs fairy tale faced the same reality we have today.
According to Daniel Hamermesh, Economics Professor at the University of Texas, and author of the new book “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful”, a good-looking person will earn, on average, $230,000 more over the course of a lifetime than someone who is perceived as less attractive.
But really…do look matter that much?
In fact the answer is Yes and No!
Looks don’t matter unless you want to become a fashion model and be on the covers of magazines, while doing the catwalk on weekends.
Appearances is what matters!!
Appearances means the way you present yourself to the world.
Unless you are one of the small minority blessed with exceptional genetic and born with stunning good looks, much of what is perceived as “looks” is good grooming, good style (inherent or paid for) and the intention to always look your best.
Let’s face it: People react to our “look.” They draw conclusions about our decision-making ability, judgment, taste, attention to detail, self-esteem, and values.
Its ok to have the most alternative, edgy, creative or flamboyant look as long as you recognise what impact it will have on others perceptions of you. You might think a full sleeve tattoo is a great idea – but you have to acknowledge it will change how people see you. If you can’t be bothered with your look…you might be giving out the impression that you can’t be bothered!
You can’t deny when you look at these images, you make an assumption based on what you see in the way each person presents their image to the world. Who would you trust to give you legal or financial advice – who would you trust to style your hair?
Our personal appearance is a message we send each day to the people we interact with. It immediately gives us away or hides something about us.
What we say about ourselves through our “look” is a choice we make when we wrap ourselves up in our clothes, shoes, cosmetics, accessories, hair style, and attitudes.
Our challenge is to figure out what others see. When we don’t, we set ourselves up for unexpected surprises.
I am not saying that its “right” to judge people based on what you see…I am just saying that it is something that happens regardless.
Your ‘look’ whatever that is is a visual cue that strangers use to make assumptions about you. But it’s hard to predict the wide spectrum of possible interpretations you might get. That means: You need to take charge of how you may be perceived. Your package launches your message. The way it’s interpreted is left to the people who take it in.
The “look” you adopt is generally a reflection of your personal style – it takes a little bit of ‘who you are’, mixes it with ‘what you do’ and throws in a touch of ‘how you feel about yourself’
When I talk to people often it is a lack of confidence that inhibits them…sometimes a lack of interest. As much as this is completely understandable, it does not detract from the fact that you…are…being…judged…every…day…on…how…you…appear!
So if your appearance and your fashion style is speaking to the world before you get a chance to…what is it saying about you?
You get to chose your first impression either by creating a personal image…or by ignoring it! If you want to get ahead, take charge of your appearance and present yourself in a way that reflects who you are.
When celebrities like Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham run out for a few things at the grocery store, they look like they’ve just stepped out of the pages of Vogue magazine. It’s easy to look fabulous all the time when you have personal stylists at your beck and call — not to mention a virtually unlimited budget at your disposal.
For those of us with limited bank accounts, however, looking fashionable or developing a personal style can be more of a challenge. Yet fashion experts say that you can look fabulous, regardless of you much you spend. Part of the key to becoming confident is figuring out your personal style — then finding specific wardrobe pieces that highlight it.
Know Who You Are
How do you like to dress? Are you wild or more conservative? Do you prefer business formal or casual comfort? Is your current wardrobe classically elegant or fashion forward? Consider the persona you want to present to the world.
Your age. Clothing should always aim to be age-appropriate (without being stuffy). If you’ve got grandchildren and you’re dressing like them, there’s a problem. It’s OK to want to look youthful — just make sure your outfits suit your stage of life.
Your occupation. You wouldn’t wear jeans and a cut-off T-shirt to work at a law firm, and you wouldn’t wear super-high heels and a short skirt to teach kindergarteners. Use your profession as your guide when you shop. Once you’ve got an appropriate ensemble for your job, jazz it up with a few accessories to add your own personal flair.
Your lifestyle. Stiletto heels are just fine for the city, but they’ll make you stick out like a sore thumb if you live way out in the country. Fashion should combine form and function, and it should fit well with your surroundings.
Remember that you don’t need to buy designer duds to express your personal style. Even jeans and T-shirts can be stylish if you feel comfortable in them and choose the right ones.
Know What You Want to Accomplish
Do you want to get a new, high-powered job? Are you trying to meet the guy of your dreams?
If you want to get a better job, think about adding a few pieces to your suit collection. If you’re headed back to school, you’ll want to trade in a few of the suits you already have for some casual knits and jeans.
Learn about Grooming
Just about the most important part of your personal image is in your hair, skin, nails…for women in your makeup…its in the time and energy put into grooming. Does it reflect your style? You will feel better if you take a few extra moments to make sure you are looking your very best. Get some lessons, get advice – if you don’t have the skills – learn them!
Trust Your Instincts
No matter what the hottest designers, celebrities and stylists are saying on the pages of the fashion magazines, ultimately the only person you have to please is yourself. Buying an article of clothing that you hate just because it’s trendy is never a good idea. It’s going to hang idly in your closet until you finally decide to throw it out or give it away.
Accentuate Your Assets
What are the best parts of your body? Focus on the areas that you like best; choose clothing and accessories to highlight them.
Know your measurements so you can find clothing that fits well. Write down your measurements and bring them with you when you shop.
Try to dress to your body shape.
Shop in stores that can accommodate your shape and buy clothes that fit well.
Look for Inspiration
Find a celebrity or model (or a few) who best captures the style you want to emulate. Flip through the pages of leading fashion and entertainment magazines to find pictures of your style icons.
Inspiration can come from a variety of sources. Don’t just look at what’s hot today.
Take a Style Lesson
Don’t know your Armani from your Kmart casuals? Do you have to twist around and check the label to know what you’re wearing? Time to brush up — fashion illiteracy can stop your personal style quest dead in its tracks.
You don’t need a degree in fashion to understand clothing. You just need to be more aware when you shop. Look at different fabrics. See how polyester feels compared to silk. Learn the difference between plaids and houndstooth prints. Figure out how to see differences in an outfit’s stitching and cut.
Assess Your Current Wardrobe
Get to know the contents of your closet. Looking through your wardrobe will help you identify your current style — what you like about it and what you wish you could change.
A walk through your closet will help you get a sense of what you feel most comfortable wearing — short skirts or long flowing dresses, business suits or track suits. Look at your clothing styles and colors, as well as your shoe and accessory collections.
Also use this opportunity to do some spring cleaning. Pull out each piece in your wardrobe and ask yourself:
Is it worn out, ripped or stained?
Is it more than three years old?
Is it out of style?
Does it fit?
Does it match anything else in your wardrobe?
You look good, you feel good.
When you look like a million dollars, you feel like a million dollars.
You owe it to yourself to look and feel that way regardless if you have a million dollars in your bank account or not.
But it will definitely make people take you a lot more serious than if you were wearing an old college hoodie.
Don’t dress to impress — Dress to be your best
To look good, you first of all have to take care of yourself.
If you are in bad shape. Hit the gym.
If your closet is out of date. Get some new clothing pieces. If it doesn’t come naturally, check fashion magazines for ideas and inspirations. They have loads of good advice on this topic, or just get a friend who is fashion conscience to help you.
The website Pinterest is a great place to go to check out other people fashion style & inspiration.
If you look under Women’s Fashion or Men’s Fashion there are literally thousands of images of every type of style around. Create a board of the photos you like and you will generally find that it will represent your personal style.
This can be a great resource when you are shopping, or even getting dressed and having a “I don’t know what to wear” moment.
It really doesn’t take a lot too look good, or should I say appear good.
Don’t forget eating healthy food. Throw the shitty processed food away and start eating clean healthy foods. I promise you just by doing that will change your life completely.